Top 5 Yankees’ offensive heroes before Aaron Judge’s epic season

Mickey Mantle (left) and Roger Maris (right) led the Yankees' offense in 1961 and 1962 leading to the 1961 World Series win.
Michael Bennington
Sunday December 11, 2022

Table of Contents

The 2022 season witnessed Aaron Judge making a baseball epic with 62 home runs. The best player of the New York Yankees broke Roger Maris’ record for most home runs in a single season and had a chance to win the Triple Crown. Before him, there were many Yankees who dominated with their offensive prowess. Here are five such players in the Yankees’ history who were known for their single-season offensive plays.

Babe Ruth’s magnificent 1921

In 1921, Babe Ruth had a 1.359 OPS, 59 home runs, and 168 RBIs. His batting line was .378/.512/.846. “The Great Bambino” led the Yankees in storming the baseball world and became the best offensive powerhouse. Ruth was a force of nature and hit more than 40 home runs every year during that time. But in 1921, he hit 59 homers and his bat forced fans to ponder if he was a superman.

Roger Maris’ HR record in 1961

Roger Maris had one season that was clearly his best, while DiMaggio and Mantle had several. Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961, which was a record for the Yankees (a record Aaron Judge may or may not have broken by the team you read this story).

Maris also led the league with 132 runs scored and 142 RBIs. He hit .620 with his bat and had a.993 OPS for the season. Maris never had a season with more than 39 home runs again. But he got his big break in 1961 and had a great year.

Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941

In 1941, Joe DiMaggio won one of his three MVPs. And his numbers were, to say the least, shocking. He hit .357/.440/.643 and had an OPS of 1.083. He also hit 30 home runs and had 125 RBIs, which led the league. But DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak, which was the best in MLB history, was what everyone talked about.

DiMaggio got at least one hit in 56 games in a row. Even a 5-game hitting streak is pretty impressive in today’s game. No Yankees player has even come close to matching or beating DiMaggio’s hit streak. It seems like something that could last.

Mickey Mantle’s Triple Crown season in 1956

Mickey Mantle‘s MVP season in 1956 was one for the history books. He hit .353/.464/.705 and had an OPS of 1.169. His average at the plate, slugging percentage, and OPS were all the highest in the league to give him the Triple Crown. Mantle also led the MLB in home runs with 52 and RBIs with 130. For good measure, he stole 10 bases. In 1956, Mantle led the league in both runs scored and bases.

Lou Gehrig’s Triple Crown in 1934


Lou Gehrig had great years in 1927 and 1936. But the Yankees’ star who was often overshadowed by Babe Ruth had a great 1934 season. Gehrig won the Triple Crown because he had the best batting average in the league (.363), hit the most home runs (49), and drove in the most runs (166). In 1934, he hit .706 and had an OPS of 1.172. Gehrig was also on base a lot, and his on-base percentage was .465.

Where do you rank Aaron Judge among these Yankees greats?

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